In the midst of rising political tensions in the country and the occasional unrest in the city of lights, humour is the need of the day. This is why, whenever and wherever zealous Karachiites get a rare opportunity to laugh out loud, they always turn up to see the show. Such was the case with stand-up comedian Danish Ali’s latest performance at the Pakistan American Cultural Centre (PACC) on January 20 which attracted a full house but left the audience with a bittersweet taste.
Ali, who is a doctor by qualification and comedian by profession, has retained his strong following even after his departure from comedian Saad Haroon’s line-up. Despite the fact that Ali is immensely talented and some people even rate his jokes better than his comedic contemporaries, his latest show left some of his biggest fans unimpressed.
Comprising of a mix of short videos as well as the best of Ali’s stand-up comedy, the show seemed repetitive with only a pun or two thrown on recent subjects such as the Veena Malik controversy.
The show started with a short video called “Chooha Man”, which was about a man, who had just interrupted a major drug deal, dressed up as a mouse. After dragging the absurd plot, the video finally ended with an uninteresting climax.
Once the video ended, the comedian dressed in his trademark tie and formal pants ensemble made his way to the stage and received a warm welcome from the audience who were anxiously waiting for the real act to begin. Soon enough, the auditorium was echoing with laughter at Ali’s take on Batman in Pakistan and the local population control campaigns, which were more than just hilarious.
However, all these jokes were old and the people who had already seen Danish Ali live before were utterly disappointed as they could easily figure out the punchlines. On the contrary, people who have seen him perform for the first time were chuckling over the jokes the comedian cracked even after the show.
The show concluded with two more videos which included one called “The Misunderstood Orphan” and another one based on the infamous Zohair Toru followed by some bloopers during the making of these videos.
Although the concept behind these videos was strong, the execution and performances could have been much better. Some of the audience members thought the show could’ve survived without the videos, while others opined that the show was still funny overall.
The obvious lesson from this show is that all the good stand-up comedians should realise that fans usually remember each and every pun, so it’s best to invest time into coming up with interesting and new material every time.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 22nd, 2012.